A Visit from Christmas Past

tour of trees 10

I love the holidays. I love the community events, get together’s with family and friends, sitting in front of the fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa as the snow gently falls outside and baking Christmas cookies while watching holiday … Continue reading 

Homemade Christmas Wreaths

Wreath5 redo

I love Christmas.  I love celebrating the Reason of the Christmas Season, The Birth of Christ. So when I do my Christmas decorating, I like to keep the simplicity of the season.  Which fits perfectly with my early farmhouse/primitive decor. One … Continue reading 

What The World Don’t Know

It has taken me a while to write this post, and as I sit here and type my fingers feel so heavy.

Most bloggers, social media junkies or movie lovers were posting, tweeting and commenting minutes if not moments after hearing the news of the suicude of Robin Williams.

But I couldn’t.

I remember standing in my bathroom that afternoon as my husband walks up and tells me what had happened.  For most of our society, they automatically wanted to share their favorite movie or how Robin made them laugh through the years.  But for me, my mind went in a different direction.  My thoughts were, “What battles was he fighting inside?”, “How much pain was he feeling but not sharing with the ones he loved?”, “Did he reach out or try to keep up the facade of everything is okay?”.

Robin Williams was a man who made others smile, while he was dying inside.  When did his laughter turn to tears for him?  Was making others laugh and smile a coping mechanism for his own survival?”  These questions will probably never be answered because for the hurting people its not easy to share or explain.

You might wander why my thoughts went to his pain that day?

See, I also struggle with mental illness.  I am diagnosed with Bi-Polar (aka manic depression), Anxiety and Panic Disorders, OCD and even though I haven’t officially been diagnosed yet, we are leaning toward Highly Sensitive Disorder (HSD).  I knew even as a young child I was different.  I was creative, and enjoyed being by myself.  I would sit in my room all weekend and read or make up stories.  As a teenager, relationships became difficult.  I would get upset over the slightest thing and withdraw from friends.

Relationships failed.

After I was married and had children my symptoms were severe.  I would sit in my closet and rock back and forth.  When the world said something was okay, I had a meltdown.  See in my world little things become big things and they are not okay.  Finally after the death of my momma, I had the trigger that would define me for the rest of my life.  I was under so much stress and grief, that was all it took to flip my switch inside my head.

Mental Illness is cruel.  It is exhausting.  The world does not understand and even though we live in a day of modern medicine where so many illnesses are normal, mental illness is still judged and you can never be normal.  It’s hard to know that no matter how much treatment you have, and meds you take the illness is never going away.

I’m not sure why we all experience struggles and hardships. I’m not sure why when we try our hardest to be a light in the world of darkness, to serve God’s people, to show love when no one else is, why we still become broken.

In the past month I had made a decision for myself and my health to take a step back from so many obligations. To start saying “No” for a change and focus on me, something that I’m not very good at.

See, I’ve never focused on me. It’s always been about everybody else. Isn’t that what we are taught? To not be selfish, that our life is not our own? But what I realized in the midst of giving my whole self away to everyone and everything that needed me, I lost me.

I lost the person I was, the person who had dreams and visions for who I wanted to be, the person who stood out in the crowds for not being scared to take a risk. But everytime I gave a little more of me away, I became someone I didn’t recognize. I started realizing that people are cruel, heartless and so judgemental. People are selfish. It’s all about how much more can they get.
And how we live in a society of laziness. Forget doing anything for yourself. Just have someone else do it for you.

I was raised in a older generation family. A family where hard work was not an option. Where you took care of your family and you didn’t play a victim so you could get help without doing any work for it. You kept your problems quiet. You worked them out within the walls of your own home. You didn’t need to shout it from the rooftops or on Social Media. A time of slower pace and so much more simplicity. I realized, that is still who I am. I am still that person who was raised in simplicity. Who made sure her family was taken care of and who wasn’t in a constant rat race.

I started enjoying being alone, being at home. In the quietness of my own walls I found peace and solace. I started finding interests I enjoyed. Ways to share my creativity without being overwhelmed and overran. I started realizing I enjoyed the companionship of my fur-babies. I loved the joy they experienced when I was around. The unconditional love I experienced from them. I started finding myself living for them. For a living soul who was genuinely happy I was alive. Who, no matter what mood I was experiencing, knew no judgements against me.

So I had made the decision to put focus back on me a month ago. To start worrying about my dreams, and my visions again. To slow down, stop back and get healthy.

Since that time two of my fur-babies have died.

Am I being punished for loving them?

Am I being punished for being selfish for the first time in my life?

I’m not really sure.

All I know is I am broken. I am hurting, I’m mad, and I’m angry. But most of all I have so much guilt that I’m hating myself.

I’m I being taught a lesson or is it just life I’m experiencing?

I don’t know the answer. All I know is that the more pain and hurt I experience the more I want to surround myself within the walls on my own home and try to protect the ones who matter most in my heart.

See I’m human.

And I’m grieving.

Maybe it’s not over a human life but it’s over a life that showed me more love than most would dare to do.

When you have the illness I have, and it already takes an army to fight each day, any loss becomes too much to bear.  The world becomes a dark, ugly place that I no longer want to be involved in.

I hate the battles that are inside me.  I’m not sure why I’m being tormented.

Why did God decide I needed to have this illness.

I can’t seem to find peace anymore.  I keep praying for God to shed some light on the situation but I can’t find the answers.  I feel I’m losing myself.

I’m in an emotional war.  A war I pray that others never have to experience.

So today, I am doing something for myself.  I am taking a huge step to get emotional healthy.  It will not be easy, it will not be quick.  But it will be worth it in the end.  I am tired of saying I’m Okay, when I’m not.  I’m tired of putting on a smile when I’m dying inside.

Today is the day I find peace.  I will be on a health, healing and prayer sabbatical for the next few weeks.  Until I return I ask you to pray for my health and my healing.  I ask you to pray for the others who are hurt and broken but hasn’t found the courage to step forward.  I pray you take care of yourself.


cowboy14 sawyer14



Arkansas Po-Boy Dog



Here in the South, summertime is in full-swing.  Hot humid days, cool and relaxing evenings.  I so love sitting on the front porch swing sippin Lemonade, or my all-time favorite, Sweet Tea.  There are some things I just wouldn’t trade for the world, and one of those is fireflies for city lights, old farmhouses for condos and country barns for skyscrapers.

Of course, I completely understand if you were raised in the city how this would be reversed.  And believe me I love to visit cities with bright lights, fancy stores and amazing restaurants, but after a visit I’m ready to come back home to the dirt roads, hay fields and stars in the sky.  And it wouldn’t be the South in Arkansas that I love so deeply without good southern comfort food.

Here is Rural Arkansas we have a few staple foods.  There isn’t any summertime meal complete with a side of coleslaw or baked beans.  Whether its a weekend BBQ friends, a church potluck on Sunday afternoon or supper during the week, these two sides are always among the favorites.

I guess you can say along with our slower pace and a more laid back simple style of  life, we still enjoy a little gourmet now and then.  A couple weeks ago I was trying to think of an easy and fast mid-week meal but also something filling for my family.  I had buns and hot dogs, and well really you can’t get any easier than that.  Not only are hot dogs super fast but they are also super cheap.  But in order to make it a complete meal I needed sides.  Well of course I came back to cole slaw and baked beans.

As I was preparing the sides, I started thinking, why can’t I make a more elaborate meal out of what I have.  If Chicago can have their own Chicago-Style Dog  and San Francisco can have their own BLT Dog then shouldn’t Arkansas have their own dog?  So I got to work.




First I made my cole slaw.


Grace and Gravy’s Southern Slaw



1 Package of Pre-Shredded Cabbage Mix or a Head of Cabbage (to save time)

3/4 cup of Mayo

1/4  cup of Sugar

2 tsp of Lemon Juice

2 tbsp of Vinegar

1 tsp of Salt

1 tsp of Black Pepper

1 tsp of Paprika


How to Make:

1) Rinse your cabbage mix (remember this was supposed to be a fast and easy meal) and place in large serving bowl

2) In a separate bowl add your mayo, sugar, lemon juice, salt and pepper and mix well

3) Add your wet ingredients to your cabbage mix

4) Mix together well

5) sprinkle your paprika on top of slaw

6) Serve right away or place in fridge til serving time


Just enough sweetness and just enough tart!


Now it was time for my Baked Beans.


Grace and Gravy’s Southern Baked Beans



6 Slices of Bacon

2 cans of Pinto Beans or 1/2 pd of dried Pinto Beans  (Remember this was a fast, easy meal so I used cans)

1 can tomato paste

2 Tbsp Honey

1/4 cup of Brown Sugar

1/2 Diced Onion (I prefer white)

1/2 Bell Pepper Diced

3 Medium sized fresh Jalapeno Peppers

1/2 tsp Paprika

1/2 Cayenne Pepper

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Black Pepper

1 tsp Ground Mustard

1/2 tsp Cummin (optional)


What to Do:

1)  Fry your bacon in a skillet (I prefer to use cast iron for this recipe)

2)  Remove bacon but leave the bacon grease

3)  Add your onion, jalapeno and bell pepper to grease and cook til soft

4)  Dice your bacon up and add to pan

5)  Drain your beans and add

6)  Now add your brown sugar and honey and mix well

7)  In a small bowl add your dry seasonings and mix lightly

8)  Add your seasonings to pan and stir

9) Simmer on low to medium heat for appx 15 minutes

10) Enjoy

I really love the sweetness of the brown sugar and honey with the spicy of the peppers!


Okay!  Now that I had my sides done, I was ready for my dogs.

How I make my Dogs:

I really like to have deli style hot dog buns.  I really like the flavor to them better than the packaged kind.  Sometimes your choice of bread will make all the difference to your dog, hamburger or sub.

Here is the thing about being Southern, we think everything should be fried! Oh yes!  The greasier the better.  So fry up your dogs on a griddle or a skillet.

Oh Boy, its gettin good now!

When grilled you now have two choices!  I suggest trying them both to see which is your style.

You can leave your dog whole and place in bun, or you can spilt in half so that your toppings fit better!  Thats my choice!

Now your ready for toppings!  My husby enjoys mustard, so its whatever you enjoy,  then I add a big ole scoop full of baked beans, and a big ole scoop full of slaw!  What could be better than this for a Good Ole Southern Meal!


So Easy, So fillings and will serve eight! Or four if you have big ole boys!

I really hope you enjoy my Arkansas Po-Boy Dog!  Would love to hear your thoughts!







Food, Freedom and Festivities: 4th of July

Food, Freedom and Festivities


I love the 4th of July!

I don’t remember exactly when I decided it was my favorite, or really why it was my favorite.

Maybe it’s the summertime and sunshine, or flag blowing in the wind.  Could be just the Freedom and Fireworks with friends and family.

No matter what the reason be, I just know I love the feeling I get on the 4th!

I love to make goodies for the BBQ’s and Picnics and crafts to decorate the house.

This year we spent the 4th at friends house having a BBQ/Pool Party.  I wanted to make it special for the family who invited us.  I always find it a treat to be invited to holiday’s and I want sure I impress to be invited again!

For the BBQ, I chose to make Freedom Frost Spritzer, Patriotic Mini Apple Pies, and Freedom Sprinkle Sugar Cookies (Y’all, all 4th of July goodies have to be named).

The hostess was more than happy to turn over the dessert making to me, but I wanted to make sure that since it was a Pool Party, the desserts were easy to grab and eat.


First up is the Freedom Frost Spritzer.

Here is Arkansas, it is super HOT, and the humidity makes you sweat buckets after being outside for even 5 minutes.  Because of that, it is super important to stay hydrated.  This drink is cool and refreshing, as well as, great to help you stay replenished because it contains electrolytes.

I’ll be honest with you.  I’m not a huge fan of gatorade, but adding in the lemon-lime soda and the ginger-ale, completely changes the flavor and I really love it.

Go all out if you feel like it and add whole cherries or a few strawberry slices for a more festive look.


1 32 oz bottle of Frost Glacier Freeze Gatorade

1 20 oz lemon-lime drink

1 20 oz ginger-ale


How to make it:

1) Freeze your bottles of drinks until slushy (If you don’t have time to wait til they are slushy, just add ice to your drink dispenser)

2) Add your gatorade, lemon-lime drink and ginger-ale together

3) Add any fruit that you like

4) Serve

So quick and easy!




For one of the desserts I decided on Patriotic Mini Apple Pies.

I LOVE making these!  They are so cute and easy.  You really can’t mess them up.

So if you are frightened of your pie looking like it was made by preschoolers, then this is definitely the way to go.

And who doesn’t like bite size apple pie? Right!  I think my husby consumed 6 in a matter of 5 minutes!


What you need:

1 package of pre-made Pie Crusts

(or click on picture for Pie Crust Recipe)

1 Can of Apple Filling

1 tbsp of Cinnamon or sugar crystals

1 tbsp of Butter


Now let’s begin:

1) Start with making your pie crusts.

If you are not a pie making person, then use the ready made pie crusts out of the dairy section of your local grocer.

Simplify!  There is no shame in using a pre-made crust (:

My favorite recipe is The Pioneer Woman’s Pie Crust.  If you don’t have a favorite recipe, then by all means try this one!


pie crustredo

Click on picture for Pie Crust Recipe


Don’t you just love old pastry cutters?  I do!  I love cutting the butter into the flour! Makes me think of simplier times.  Sigh

2) After you crust is complete and rolled, cut out 4 inch circles.  I use a lid of a canister that I have because it is perfect size.  Anything you have will work.  Don’t panic if its not the exact size.  I promise the pie will go on.

3) Use a cupcake/muffin pan and cut 3-4 inch long strips of parchment paper appx 1 inch wide.  Enough for all slots in your pan.


The parchment paper will make it so much easier to lift pies out of pan after they have cooked.

4) Take your crust circles and place in cupcake holes.  I try to make pleads in my crust as much as I can for a little extra character.

5) Fill your pie crusts will apple filling.  I used can apples for these and used appx 2 apples and a little filling in each pie.

**Check back soon for my post on Homemade Apple Filling! (The Apples are just now ready to pick)

6) Save enough dough to cut out mini stars.

This star cutter was actually from a Christmas Mini Cookie Cutter Set I got for super cheap after the holidays!  Hey works for me!

7) I then added a tiny bit of butter on top of the stars and sprinkled cinnamon.  YUM!




If you will notice in the picture above, these are sprinkled with red sugar crystals.  My husby thought some of the stars should be red!  If it makes him happy, then yes I will add red sugar crystals to half of my pies!

8) Bake at 350 for appx 20 mins, checking your pies along the way.

I hope you enjoy making these as much as I do.  And with the parchment paper as tabs, they should be really easy to lift out of the pan.





Can you really have a Holiday without Sugar Cookies?   Are they not a staple of days gone by?  I decided for this 4th of July I would make Freedom Sprinkle Sugar Cookies, which is your basic sugar cookies with festive sprinkles.

I love making sugar cookies, but what I love more is letting the kiddos decorate them!  This has been a tradition in our house since the kids could walk.  Don’t you just love traditions? No matter if it’s Easter, Christmas or the 4th, we need decorated sugar cookies!



For my sugar cookie recipe you will need:

2 cups of sugar (wouldn’t be sugar cookies without lots of sugar)

2 cups of All-Purpose Flour

1 cup of butter softened (2 sticks)

1 egg

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp of salt (I love kosher salt)

1 1/2 tsp of vanilla or vanilla paste (I prefer paste, so much more flavor)

1/4 cup of flour for rolling



This is how I do it:

1) I start with a parchment paper covered cookie sheet.

I LOVE parchment paper.

I don’t know how I ever survived without it!

Doesn’t it make life so much simpler?

2) Then I cream together my butter and sugar until it is completely mixed, almost to a mixed stage.

3) Then I add in my egg and vanilla.

4) In a separate bowl, i slightly whisk together my flour, salt and baking powder.

5) I then add the dry ingredients to my sugar/butter/egg mixture.

6) Mix together well.

7) At this point you have 2 options.  You can roll into balls and bake, or you can roll out like pie crusts appx 1/8 inch thick and cut out circles.

I normally roll out and cut into circles with a round cookie/fondant cutter.  you can also use a biscuit cutter (:

If you go for this option, you will need to lay out a piece of parchment paper and use your remainder of flour so your dough does not stick.

8) Lay your circles or dough balls  appx 3 inch apart on cookie sheet.

9) Bake at 350 for 8-10 or until they start to turn slightly brown around edges.

Don’t over bake, they are suppose to be chewy.

Yields appx 20 cookies.

10) After cookies cool then decorate with your favorite icing, sprinkles and sugar crystals.


cookie platter

Now that the snacks are made, it’s time for a little decorating!  I drive my husby crazy sometimes with all of my decorating for parties, events, holidays and just to make the house more cozy and appealing me me.



I wanted to do something very simple for the front porch.  We have a super cute wrought iron table on one side and a white porch swing on the other, so just a little something festive was the key.  I chose to decorate the table which sits in front of an old screen door.  I covered the table in a blue star material and added a chalkboard, a rusted star planter, which i added a flag material to, and a patriotic plaid placemat for a center piece.

Nothing fancy but perfect!

4th decor


I have several of these white wooden garden chairs.  I have some inside and I leave some outside.  I really enjoy sitting ferns and planters of flowers on the outside chairs.  In this pic I am using the rusted planter with flag print material.  Such a cute idea to sit beside your front steps or on the porch.

Sometimes all you  need is subtle touches.



This idea is great for a small 4th of July get together or a morning brunch.  I used my table from my porch, added a couple of my garden chairs and make a super cute place sitting with all of the festive food.

Now how easy is that.  Took maybe 5 minutes.

I love having small get togethers and brunches.  This set up is also great for a Tea Party.


And what kind of Holiday would it be without dressing festive?

My kiddos and I have done several different shirts in the past for the 4Th.  This year we have been on a Tie-Dye kick so we decided 4th Tie-Dye Shirts would be perfect.

We have done several different dyeing in the past.  We have used the regular tie-dye, we have used kool-aid, but I feel the Rit dye works the best for fading.

What we used:

White t-shirts (we chose v-necks for a different look this year)

package of rubber bands

Rit Dye in Cherry Red and Royal Blue

2 large bowls




How we made them:

1) First wrap rubberbands around your shirt

The awesome thing about tie-dye is that you really can’t mess it up.  Every shirt has its own unique design.

I prefer to wad my shirt up and place rubberbands in random places (:


2) Add 1/3 bottle of dye to appx 2 gallons of hot water in a large bowl.

I use the same color bowl as dye so it won’t stain.  And yes I use a little more dye, and less water than called for because I want my colors to pop!

3) Place newspapers on floor (or go outside) and set bowls of die on top.

4) Dip one section of your shirt in a color and hold for 3-4 minutes.



5) Gently wring out using a glove or plastic bag on hand and dip another section in same color or other color dye.

You can do half the shirt one color, the other half another color or sections in each color

6) When shirt is covered in dye, place in plastic bag and let leave for 12 hours so colors will set in.

7) After the 12 hours, remove shirt from bag and rinse with warm water as you start to remove rubberbands.

8) After all bands are removed, rinse shirt in cool water, until water is mostly clear.

9) Hang shirt up to dry part way and then continue drying in clothes dryer.

10) Remove shirt and you are ready to wear!



After all the drinks, desserts and shirts were made, we were ready for a great night of Food, Freedom and Festivities with friends.



We ate, and swam, and got ready for fireworks!





And after dark we enjoyed playing with a few sparklers.




Overall it was a another wonderful 4Th of July.

I hope you had am amazing day of Food, Freedom and Festivities in your neck of the woods!


Summer Dates on a Budget: Farmer’s Market Morning Date


My husby and I love to have day nights (or mornings).

For many years when our kiddos were small, getting away for a day or night out together was almost obsolute. As our kids have gotten older, it is very important to us at least once a month to get away even for a few hours.

When your kids are small, you are so busy with their wants and needs that it consumes all of you. There is no time for your hobbies or activities and your day in and day out schedules rotates around them and them only.

I realized at some point during this journey, that my husby’s and mine conversions consisted only about our children. I think that was a wake up moment for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my children with all my heart.  But my world should not revolve around them.  My world and life should revolve around God, then my marriage.

I thought to myself, if husby and I don’t have any alone time together having fun, finding out what we each like now that we are older, then will we even have anything to talk about when the kiddo’s leave home? Will we know anymore what little things make us smile? Will we be able to sit down to dinner and have a conversion just about us?

To be quite honest, I don’t think so.

That was when it became my goal, my passion, my desire to have Date Nights just to find out who we are are as indivduals, not the mom and dad of Keegan and Lindy, but who Miranda and William are as people and fall in love all over again.

If you are anything like us, and you live month to month on a strict budget with not a lot of wiggle room, then finding extra money to have a day or night just for the two of you can be hard to come by.  I understand that after bills, groceries and children needs, there isn’t always a lot of money left over for dates so I am sharing some “Summer Dates on a Budget” Ideas that I have put together that we like to do and have fun with.


Farmer’s Market Morning Date


Who said Date Night had to be at Night?

My husby is a morning person. He is so used to getting up when the roosters crow for work, that he funtions so much better in the morning than the afternoon.

And evening, Well just forget that! LOL ! That is when you find him zonked out of the couch!


Well I won’t lie. I am not a morning person at all. I can do mid morning, but please roosters, just let me sleep. But by evening my mind has been going in twelve different directions all day so I’m no good to anyone at that point.

So last week my husby told me he was taking Saturday off. The kids had been going non-stop all week long with friends and family.  This is not normally something we let them do, but my sister was in from Texas and they wanted to spend a lot of time with her last week. And Lindy has been helping a friend from church at her and her husbands dr office to help raise funds for Guatemala Mission Trip.

It seemed like they were not home but a few hours last week at the most.

I decided that since the kiddo’s had been enjoying their week with friends and family, then husby and I needed some fun time together.

I was really looking for something fun that wouldn’t cost much, when I thought “How about the Farner’s Market?”

Well why not.

Our Farmer’s Market is fairly new.  There is booths with veggies and fruits straight from the gardens, jams/jellies and salsa, homemade items and even live music.



Farmer’s Market might have not been your first thought for a date, but it was early, the weather was beautiful, we could walk around main street holding hands and the items we bought were groceries for the week so we didn’t spend extra money for an activity.

One booth was selling homemde blueberry yougurt pops, Yum!  We each bought one, found a bench and sat down and listened to the bluegrass/folk music that was playing.

So relaxing!

What was also great, was husby helped me decide what to fix for dinner that week by what fresh fruits/veggies we were buying. We ended up with squash, zucchini, green tomatoes (ummm fried green tomatoes), kale, mustard greens, fresh lavender, fresh basil, onions, green beans, potatoes and homemade wheat bread.

With all that we decided on grilled chicken with grilled poatoes and veggies with homemade bread, boneless bbq ribs with mustard greens, kale, fried green tomatoes and corn bread, a chicken/spinach pasta dish with fresh basil, zucchini and  squash added in pasta with fresh green beans on the side and taco night with all the fresh veggies and kale as toppings (maybe not traditional, but hey it works).  And we could use the rest of the homemade bread for sandwiches and make homemade kale chips for the side! I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!


I didn’t forget about the lavender i bought.  That will be made into something something special to share! (:

After the Farmer’s Market, we walked around town, just talking and holding hands, enjoying being with each other.

We stopped at a couple thrift stores for any “thrifty finds, and since we had splurged with the blueberry/yogurt pops at the Farmer’s Market, we settled for a light brunch at a local restaurant (if you have a local coffee shop, stop in there for a light breakfast).

It might have only been a few short hours, but it was a great Morning Date! We had woke up feeling great from a good night’s rest and I wasn’t cranky (yes i get cranky) from the stress of a full day. I do believe there will be many more morning dates in our future.


Remember, having a day out with the one you love, doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money. We spent a total of $20, for brunch and our thrifty finds, and we spent $20 at the Farmer’s Market which came out of our grocery budget.

Find an activity you both enjoy and build from it.

Be checking back for more posts of “Summer Dates on a Budget.”

Love Miranda

I Found My Thrill On Blueberry Hill: Part 1

Sweet, Sweet Summertime.

Fireflies at night, Daylight til 9 o’clock, Sippin Lemonade from a Mason Jar. Oh Yes! I love Summertime! There is just something about sittin in the porch swing, smelling BBQ from the grill, and pickin fresh veggies from the garden.

Well, maybe not so much the last one! Now I love to reap the benefits from the garden, don’t get me wrong, but after spending hours in the hot sun, bent over pickin blueberries you start to wonder if grocery store veggies are so bad after all LOL!!!

But I know that when Fall comes around and I am having fresh Blueberry Cobbler for Thanksgiving, or when Winter sets in and I’m sitting around the fireplace with friends drinking fresh Blueberry Wine, I will be ever so thankful that I spent hours in the garden gathering up the blueberries. Hey, at least I’m getting a nice tan with the deal!

This week has been blueberry madness. From Blueberry Syrup, to Blueberry Topping and Blueberry Butter, I am going Blueberry Mad! Heck, i’m good just sitting down with a bowl of blueberries and fesh cream…YUMMM!

Blueberries 2


Blueberries 1

Today, I wanted to share with you my version of Blueberry Syrup…

I start with 7 cups of fresh blueberries (washed)
2 1/2 cups of sugar ( i like it sweet)
1 tsp of molasses
2 1/2 tbs of lemon juice

1) Place blueberries and water in a large pot. Using a masher (i use my potato masher) crush the berries.
2) On medium heat, bring to a boil and then simmer on low for appx 15-20 minutes as they darken in color.
3) Remove from heat and strain berries, mashing as you go to extract as much juice as possible.
4) Add blueberry juice and sugar and molasses to pot, return to a boil and simmer on low for appx 12- 15 minutes. (juice will slightly thicken)
5) Add the lemon juice and return to boil for about 2 more minutes, stirring as you go.
6) Poor into a quart size Mason. Your syrup is ready to enjoy!


Blueberry Syrup

**Use right away or store in fridge for appx 2 weeks
**If your syrup is not as sweet as us southerners like it, add 1/2 more sugar to the recipe!

Now your probably thinking what do I do with all this mashed blueberries?

Good question! You can 1) throw away (but please don’t) or 2) add about 1/2-1 cup of sugar and 1 tbs of lemon juice to the mashed blueberries, simmer on low for 5 minutes or untl the sugar is disolved and enjoy on top on pancakes or on a big bowl of icecream! But on Part 2 I will be sharing another way to use the mashed blueberries.  So many choices!

Blueberry topping


I hope you enjoy this recipe! And come back soon for Part 2 of  “I Found My Thrill On Blueberry Hill”!

With Love Miranda

DIY Homemade Powder Laundry Soap

Update: I use homemade soap in place of store bought when possible.


Laundry…..Does it ever end?

Do you ever feel like a laundry fairy comes at night and reproduces all your dirty clothes?  I can FINALLY be caught up and then the next morning we have a huge pile again… URGGGG!!!!

I see two things that are going to have to happen…1) We are going to have to not change so many times during the day. (Why do you need to change so many times unless you are taking a shower and putting on clean clothes) or 2) Start going naked!

I’m really down to those 2 choices.

One thing I love to do is make homemade laundry soap. I love the fact that I can determine which ingredients to add, I also love the low cost and how long the detergent lasts my family. I almost feel like a June Cleaver! Oh wait, June probably never made her own laundry soap did she? But really, it’s super easy and I wanted to share my variation.

First, I start with my Ingredients:


Washing Soda (such as Arm and Hammer)

Bar Soap (I use Ivory, it’s so natural and so cheap)

Epson Salt

Essential oils (or in my case I try to buy epson salt already scented with lavender).



Second, I grate my bar soap on smallest grate possible.

Third, I get all my ingredients  measured.

2 Cups Borax
1 Cup Washing Soda
1/2 grated bar of soap
1 Cup Epson Salt
and if you prefer scented
10 drops of essential oil

Finally, mix in a container and seal.

I use appx 2-3 tablespoons per load of laundry, depending on the load size
With 1 box of Borax, 1 box of Washing Soda, 2 bars of soap, and 32 oz of scented Epson Salt, I can make 4 batches of Laundry Detergent. Enough to last my family 3-4 months. (please keep in mind, I do a lot of laundry)



No judgement on the Ice Cream Bucket turned into Laundry Soap Bucket, needed!  Hey it works and that’s all that matters!


I also love Line-Dried Clothes.  I must confess though, I do put them in the dryer for about 10 minutes first to fluff and get any excess lent off of the clothes.  (Can’t stand the stiff feeling or maybe it’s just I would have to iron if I didn’t fluff them first loI) I can remember when I was little, we had a washing machine but no dryer.  All Spring, Summer and Fall, my momma would hang out our laundry to dry.  When Winter came, we would have to take Saturday Morning trips to the Laundry Mat.  I can remember after my momma passed away, my daddy finally went and tore down that old clothes line that was no saggy and worn from years of weather and use.

Maybe it’s from the line-dried clothes as a child, I’m not for sure, but there is just something so tranquil about hanging out my laundry and watching them blow dry in the wind.  I can see my clothes line from my bedroom window, and some days I go sit on my bed just to watch it blow back and forth.  Simplicity maybe? Or contentment?  All I know is a peaceful feeling that settles over me.


I would love to swap Laundry Soap Recipes!  Please feel free to Link me up to your Blog Posts!